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Mountain High

An architectural gem on a South Kent hilltop



By Randy O’Rourke

On an unmarked dirt road in South Kent, the house is hidden high up on a hill. Ascend the curvy, quarter-mile-long driveway, and you see a contemporary wooden frame that blends seamlessly with the trees and the view—one of the most majestic in Litchfield County, overlooking the undulating Berkshire Mountains and glistening Hatch Pond.

“We came up here and said, ‘yesss,’” says Charmian Place, a former interior design director for Ennead Architects in Manhattan. “The first thing I said was, ‘It has to be contemporary. It can’t just be a glass box. It has to incorporate nature,” she says, from the pebbled terrace with sweeping views of the sun setting over a scene so serene, you almost forget about the house.

There are trellises bordering almost every exterior wall, enabling perennial kiwi vines to grow toward impressive copper roofs. Then she opens a door, one of many floor-to-ceiling mahogany masterpieces that, on their own, draw awe. The whole home is decked beautifully but subtly, with various natural woods, yacht-like cabinetry, and stone. “Serene and sophisticated, yet laid back and livable,” she says of the open floor plan that offers an easy flow between rooms.

She and her husband, financier and philanthropist Kenneth Cooper, built the 4,600-foot home on 41 acres in 2004. The two are very involved in various local causes—Ken giving much time and resources to the Kent Memorial Library and Kent Land Trust. The couple enlisted the help of architects Tomas Rossant of Ennead Architects and John Allee of Lakeville. “They are geniuses,” she says, swirling a glass of French cabernet she retrieved from the “passive” wine cellar, a term that means the space requires no heating, cooling, or humidity control because it’s built into the earth.

While Place did most of the interior decorating, her husband managed the basement, meaning not only the wine cellar and fitness room, but the entire HVAC system. “This is where Kenny comes in,” she says, lifting a barbell. “He’s incredibly useful.”

“The house is contemporary, but it’s warm,” Place remarks, gliding between spaces that include four bedrooms, each with its own bathroom, generous closets, and giant window views. “Every room, every space, there are no extraneous places to heat or cool or clean.” They can even set the heat or air conditioning, anywhere, from a smartphone. Bookshelves and built-ins abound, with recessed lighting that can be angled as desired, highlighting the couple’s collection of museum-quality art. “You can live in your own happiness,” Place remarks. “It can be very social, or very solitary, depending on what you want.”

High-end appliances and a huge black granite center island make the kitchen a favorite hangout, but guests are also lured into the adjacent porch and dining room. The master bedroom at the end of the main floor hall is dreamy. It’s like an airplane view, with the Bulls Bridge Golf Course and South Kent School off in the distance. “The view is amazing, but my favorite things about the master bedroom are the his and her closets, and the his and her bathrooms,” Place remarks with a grin. “The whole layout is essential for a happy marriage.”

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February 2017

Instructor Melanie Cecilio MENU: Fritto Misto (Calamari and Artichokes ) with Aioli Bruschetta Fresh Egg Pasta Pappardelle all Bolognese Ragu Tiramisu

Cost: $80 per person -Full Participatio

Where:
The Silo
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
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Sponsor: The Silo
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Contact Name: kim Prange
Website »

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According to the Guinness World Book of Records, only Shakespeare and the Bible have outsold Agatha Christie in terms of overall book sales in the English language. UNESCO has identified Agatha...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

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Keeler Library is looking for submissions from local artists (Westchester, Putnam and Fairfield counties)  to be exhibited in a benefit for the library at Saint James church in North Salem...

Cost: $25

Where:
keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
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Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
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Coming to the Main Stage at the Warner Theatre.... This BRAND NEW musical based on the bestselling book by Mary Pope Osborne takes the stage and features students of the Warner Theatre Center...

Cost: $15.50.

Where:
Main Stage - Warner Theatre
68 Main St
Torrington, CT  06790
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Sponsor: Lufkin Family Foundation
Telephone: (860) 489-7180
Contact Name: Warner Theatre
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The Kent Memorial Library Parents' Committee is hosting a day of skating and fun for the whole family at the Kent School Rink! There will be tasty treats for sale and skates may be rented at...

Cost: $4 adults, $2 children, $10 families

Where:
Kent School Rink
1 Macedonia Rd
Kent, CT
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Telephone: 860-927-3761
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Join the Litchfield Historical Society in welcoming author and director of the Tennis Hall of Fame Doug Stark on Sunday, February 26 at 3 p.m. for a lecture on his book Wartime Basketball. ...

Cost: Free for members; $5 non-members

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
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Keeler Library is looking for submissions from local artists (Westchester, Putnam and Fairfield counties)  to be exhibited in a benefit for the library at Saint James church in North Salem...

Cost: $25

Where:
keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

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Enjoy online learning and engaging discussion at the Oliver Wolcott Library with the Monday Scholars! Monday Scholars combines the best of online learning with face-to-face classroom discussion!...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

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Keeler Library is looking for submissions from local artists (Westchester, Putnam and Fairfield counties)  to be exhibited in a benefit for the library at Saint James church in North Salem...

Cost: $25

Where:
keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

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With so many choices on the new shelves and in our stacks, it can be difficult to find the right film or series to watch! Let us be your personal guide by hearing about what we’ve been...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Keeler Library is looking for submissions from local artists (Westchester, Putnam and Fairfield counties)  to be exhibited in a benefit for the library at Saint James church in North Salem...

Cost: $25

Where:
keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

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This showing is sponsored by the Washington Environmental Council.  www.wec-ct.org This epic National Geographic documentary follows Leonardo DiCaprio as he travels the world to examine...

Cost: Free and open to the public.

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
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Website »

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Marcey Hladik is a native of Litchfield who started painting as an adult, taking her first lessons in oil painting from her mother-in-law, Edith Hladik, an accomplished artist and teacher. Since...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

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The public is invited to join business professionals at this highly-celebrated event featuring powerhouse guest speakers City of New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart and Women’s Basketball Hall of...

Cost: $35

Where:
Simsbury Inn
397 Hopmeadow St
Simsbury, CT  06089
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Sponsor: Simsbury Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: (860) 651-7307
Website »

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Marcey Hladik is a native of Litchfield who started painting as an adult, taking her first lessons in oil painting from her mother-in-law, Edith Hladik, an accomplished artist and teacher. Since...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

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Rusalka (Dvořák)   NEW PRODUCTION February 25, 2017 at 12:55 p.m. ET Conductor: Sir Mark Elder Production: Mary Zimmerman Set Designer: Daniel Ostling Costume Designer: Mara...

Cost: $27.

Where:
Main Stage - Warner Theatre
68 Main St
Torrington, CT  06790
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Sponsor: Viron Rondo Osteria
Telephone: (860) 489-7180
Contact Name: Warner Theatre
Website »

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The Washington Art Association & Gallery is pleased to encourage and showcase work by determined and committed visionaries in their exhibition curated by Zeb Mayer, “Do Not Pass Go: A...

Cost: Free

Where:
Washington Art Association & Gallery
4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
Washington Depot, CT  06794
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Telephone: (860) 868-2878
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Chef Anne McClelland will dazzle you with a fabulous South American cuisine paired with wines to please your palate. New spices and textures will awaken your desire to explore the foods this...

Cost: $110/Full Participation per person

Where:
The Silo
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
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Sponsor: The Silo
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Contact Name: kim Prange
Website »

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Portrait and landscape painter Diane Dupuis is teaching a new class this winter at the Washington Art Association & Gallery. Winter provides the perfect opportunity for painters of all levels...

Cost: $165. mbr. $230 non-mbr

Where:
Washington Art Association
4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
Washington, CT  06794
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Sponsor: WAA
Telephone: 860.868.2878
Contact Name: Barbara Von Schreiber
Website »

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Marcey Hladik is a native of Litchfield who started painting as an adult, taking her first lessons in oil painting from her mother-in-law, Edith Hladik, an accomplished artist and teacher. Since...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

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